If there’s anyone you’d expect to be sucking on the sourest grapes while discussing Tom Brady’s Ballghazi suspension and the ensuing kerfuffle, it would probably be the Super Bowl losers. But Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is not that dude, and he is rightfully in Brady’s corner.
Sherman talked to USA Today Sports’ Jarrett Bell, and instead of taking to opportunity to pile on, he went in on the NFL continue to adhere to a double standard when it comes to punishing players and owners:
“You’re fining players more than you’re fining organizations?” Sherman told USA TODAY Sports, comparing the team discipline to the roughly $2 million in lost salary Brady currently faces due to a four-game suspension.
“That should bring up some red flags. But nobody’s talking about that.”
“Last year, Jim Irsay got fined what, 500 grand?” Sherman said, referring to the Indianapolis Colts owner, who was suspended for six games and fined $500,000 as discipline for his misdemeanor DUI case.
“Owners can only be fined so much. There’s a cap. And Brady gets fined (roughly $2 million). Whether the crimes are the same or not, a suspension is a suspension, a fine is a fine. Game checks.”
Sherman has always been keenly aware of the power imbalances in sports, and he understands that Goodell’s harsh punishment on Brady, like all his other punishments, is nothing more than a PR maneuver. The easy thing for any player to do when asked about Ballghazi is to just fire off a few platitudes about “integrity,” which is why it’s so refreshing to see Sherman take the opportunity to provide an answer that is actually thoughtful.